Sylvia Briercliffe in the studio

Cycling gran’s health message to other women

A Wirral grandmother has told Radio Clatterbridge how she found a new lease of life by developing an interest in cycling.

Sylvia Briercliffe revealed how she intends to spend her 90th year encouraging other older women to take up the activity.

She made a return to the airwaves four years after embarking on a gruelling thousand-mile challenge.

The inspirational octogenarian pedalled her way to victory in 2015, raising money for Alzheimers and Live New Scene, a disabled charity in Chester where she’s a weekly volunteer.

Sylvia, who is from Eastham, is now working with Sustrans, a charity which makes it easier for people to cycle, and has become a life member of Cycling UK.

She told Coffee Club presenter Steve Evans how she’s urging women to continue cycling throughout their lives.

“I think you’ve got to stay active and keep your brain going throughout your life. If you’re going to be given a life lets make it healthy and good.” – Sylvia Briercliffe

Sylvia still takes her bike out for regular rides although her family have now persuaded her to get an electric bike to help her on steep hills.

She also exercises on various different types of bikes and attends Tai Chi lessons.

Sylvia Briercliffe on a tandem with a friend
Sylvia Briercliffe on a tandem with a friend

She explained how she got interested in cycling after becoming depressed following a bad relationship.

“It was like a lightbulb switching on. I saw the blue sky and how beautiful the world was. I said to myself: Come on girl. And then I thought of doing a thousand miles.” – Sylvia Briercliffe

Sylvia now wants to spread her message to the doctors and nurses at Clatterbridge.

She also advises people to travel by train before hopping into the saddle.

But her main advice is simple: “It’s really easy to not stop. Don’t get rid of your bike!”